Regarding Johnson Matthey’s press release today, we are happy to announce that the front-end engineering design for the battery value chain operator Johnson Matthey’s commercial plant in Vaasa has begun.
The City of Vaasa and Johnson Matthey have signed a Common Letter of Intent on 2 April 2021. Contract details are to be finalized by the end of 2021. The reservation concerns approximately 50 ha plot situated in Vaasa. The plant is planned to be in operation in 2024.
“We are pleased to announce our plant will be located in Vaasa – a region that aims to create an ecosystem of sustainable technologies. Vaasa has a favourable battery materials ecosystem, offering reliable access to renewable energy, sustainable raw materials and proximity to major European automotive OEM and cell manufacturers”, commented Robert MacLeod, CEO of Johnson Matthey.
Finnish Minerals Group is planning investments to develop auxiliary processes needed in the production of battery materials production. These investments are linked to Johnson Matthey’s investment in Vaasa. Finnish Minerals Group aims to develop and deploy novel technological solutions for treating sodium sulphate at a production scale, as well as implement production of selected metallic raw materials.
– We have had very close and effective cooperation with Johnson Matthey. We share common values and ambitions for a sustainable future. This is a positive next step, we continue to develop this whole area in co-creation with all stakeholders, Finnish Minerals Group, and naturally other potential battery value chain actors, says Tomas Häyry, Mayor of Vaasa.
– This is excellent news, not only for our energy cluster, but also for the region as a whole. We have a strong competence in the area of sustainable technology solutions and sustainable logistics arrangements. In Vaasa, we have the possibility to develop the greenest battery value chain in the world. It is very valuable for Finland to get this activity to Vaasa, says Häyry.
– Johnson Matthey’s decision to plan battery material production investment to Vaasa, Finland together with Finnish battery ecosystem aligns well with our national battery strategy. Our target is to become an internationally important actor in the battery and electrification sector in sustainable circular economy manner. This decision shows also that Finland can provide an attractive environment for new investments and the expansion of existing operations, says Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs, Finland.
– We warmly welcome Johnson Matthey to Vaasa, Finland and to join Finnish Battery ecosystem. The project builds on Finnish competitive business environment and on strong focus on sustainability, innovation and circular economy in line with our national battery strategy. The growth of Finnish battery cluster is expected to further accelerate innovations, sustainable economic growth, wellbeing, skills and jobs in Finland, says Markku Kivistö, Head of Cleantech, Invest in, Business Finland.
The construction of the site will begin later this year in the so-called GigaVaasa Area in Vaasa. This industrial area is dedicated for battery value chain manufacturing and offers accessible and green energy system options. The GigaVaasa industrial zone is well placed logistically, with good rail and road connections, a short distance to the harbor and an airport on its doorstep.
Over 160 energy technology companies are situated in the Vaasa region, enabling excellent collaboration opportunities, and the intensive cooperation between the energy technology hub and the local universities helps educate skilled workforce to meet the needs of the industry.
The main picture shows the future GigaVaasa area as a whole. The now signed Letter of Intent concerns one of the plots in the area.